While we were in Poplar Bluff last week, (8 October 2004) we found this article at the library. It is the account of a shooting at Pop's Place in 1934. Very interest! I do remember it.
Republic January 8, 1934
IRATE QULIN MAN KILLS NEIGHBOR AND ATTEMPTS TO SLAY 2 OTHERS
MELVIN FLOYD SHOT TO DEATH BY ROY CHILDS
Floyd (should have been) Childs Was Rushed to Jail Here When Feelings Developed in Home Town Over His Acts.
Emptied His Gun in Attempt to Kill
Victim of Shooting Affray at Qulin Saturday Night Was Sole Support of big Family.
from the gun of a hate crazed bootlegger, Saturday night killed Melvin Floyd, 22
year-old Qulin, Mo., restaurant, employee and sole support of a widowed mother
and 4 brothers and sisters and wounded Marvin "Crip" McClure, 25,(should be 36)
owner of the restaurant in which the shooting occurred. In his frenzy to kill,
Roy Childs, 44, the slayer, fired at Charles Hoyle a bystander, and the snapped
his empty pistol in the face of J.C. Humphreys a cripple, as he rested his
crutches beside the restaurant counter.
Not content with the havoc he had wrought, Childs went to his home, reloaded his gun, and came back downtown as he said, "to clean house." Meeting Carl Chapman, he covered him with a revolver, took away his flashlight and then went to Floyd’s home which he searched for the victim who already lay dead on the restaurant floor. He then returned to the restaurant where he was arrested and disarmed by Deputy Sheriff Herschel Hughlett.
County officers who hurried to the scene brought Childs to Poplar Bluff as a crowd of angry citizens formed, presumably to do him violence.
The actual motive for the killing of Floyd has not yet been definitely ascertained by officers. Childs, according to witnesses at a coroner’s inquest held Sunday afternoon: has been operating a "home brew joint" at his home and has been boarding at the home of Marie Hopper.
About 4 o’clock Saturday afternoon Floyd went to Child’s home and purchased two bottles of home brew beer. An argument arose between the two men over a trivial matter, the exact nature of which officers could not learn and which was heard only by Marie Hopper. Childs asked Floyd to leave his house which the latter did without further trouble.
SHOTS INTO FLOOR
About 7:30 Saturday evening Childs walked into the McClure restaurant and soft drink parlor, where some half dozen or more people were seeking service, and where he found Floyd sitting on the counter. Floyd got up, walked over to Childs and said: "Well, you ordered me out of your home but you can’t do it here." Childs, according to witnesses, placed his hand on Floyd’s shoulder and pushed him back. Floyd started around the end of the counter and Childs fired once with a 32-calibre pistol, the bullet striking the floor. Floyd, at his point, seized McClure by the arm and Childs fired twice more, one bullet striking Floyd in the left groin and the second inflicting a flesh wound in McClure’s right hip. Floyd started for an adjoining room and Childs shot him again, the bullet striking him front of the left shoulder blade and penetrating both lungs. He collapsed on the floor and died in a few moments. Charles Hoyle, prominent Qulin citizen tried to interfere. "Damn you, too, Charley," cursed Childs as he wheeled around and fired at Hoyle. The bullet missed. Then turning toward the counter Childs walked up to J.C. Humphries, a helpless cripple who was leaning against the counter. "Damn you, don’t you move there." he said and snapped the pistol in Humphries face. The fact that there were no more bullets in the gun, saved Humphries life.
RELOADED HIS GUN
According to his own statement mad to officers and Coroner J. Richard Reynolds who went to the scene of the shooting, Childs then went to his home.
"I got into it up there and the whole town is after me, " he told the Hopper woman. "I’m going to reload and go back and clean house." He suited the action to his words and started back toward the business district, encountering Chapman on the way and forcibly taking his flashlight away from him. Going next to Floyd’s home he searched under beds, in closets and around the house, apparently in the belief that Floyd might still be living. He then made his way to the restaurant where he was arrested.
At a coroner’s inquest, held at Qulin at two o’clock yesterday afternoon, details regarding the killing and the circumstances that led up to it were brought out. Childs declared that he shot Floyd because the latter slapped his jaws. Testimony from nine witnesses at the inquest failed to disclose the fact that Childs had been struck. Childs made no explanation of his attempt to kill the other men.
McClure received treatment from Dr. Scott Cook at Qulin. His wound is of a minor nature. Floyd’s body was taken in charge by Coroner Reynolds and was brought to the Frank Undertaking Company parlors.
Members of the coroner’s jury, who were Irvin Waller, foreman, J.R. Nentrup, Arthur Prall, Evert Pierce, Thomas G. Campbell, and Homer Chapman, returned the following verdict:
"We, the undersigned coroner’s jurors, find that Melvin Floyd came to his death by being shot through the left chest by a 32-calibre bullet, the pistol being in the hands of Roy Childs, the shot being fired by Roy Childs. We, the jurors, hereby recommend that Roy Childs be held for the murder of Melvin Floyd, without bond."
Surviving Melvin Floyd are his widowed mother, Maggie Floyd; seven-year-old twin brothers, Chester and Lester Floyd; a two-year-old brother, Osie Floyd; a sister, Belle Floyd; 21; a sister, Mrs. Myrtle Grant of Chicago and a brother, Olliver Floyd of St. Paul, South Carolina. All but the last two live at home and he was the sole support. Floyd bore an excellent reputation in Qulin Community and had been in no previous trouble. Feeling over his murder runs high at Qulin.
Childs has a wife and 12-year-old daughter living at Kennett. He has records of conviction for liquor law violations at Kennett and Rector, Arkansas.
Funeral services for Floyd will probably be held tomorrow afternoon at his Qulin home.
Pop's Early Days
The Day Knee Stob and Crip got
Daily American Republic
The Legend of Tom Dooley
The Song---The History of the Ballard
Tom Dooley Art Museum